Otero County History

OTERO COUNTY is located midway along New Mexico’s southern border with Texas. Established in 1899, it was carved out of the adjacent counties of Lincoln and Dona Ana. The county is named for Miguel A. Otero a Territorial Representative to Congress from 1856 to 1861.  President McKinley, in 1897, appointed Otero as Territorial Governor, he was the first Hispanic to serve as Governor. Alamogordo, the county seat, in addition to being an important rocket and missile-testing site, is the next door neighbor to Holloman Air Force Base. White Sands Missile Range, White Sands National Monument, the mountain resort village of Cloudcroft and the Mescalero Apache Reservation are in Otero County. Alamogordo is also the home of the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the New Mexico Museum of Space History and International Space Hall of Fame. A new courthouse was built in 1955-56 to replace the earlier structure built in 1901-03.